Credit Cards The Basics

End of the Year Checklist: Amex Platinum Airline Fee Credit

Amex Platinum Fee
Written by Charlie

The end of 2013 is coming up fast! As such, there are some housekeeping items that should be attended to when it comes to miles and points. Believe it or not, these things can get overlooked! I will list a few of these things in the coming days to hopefully help you remember what to do!

Amex Platinum Airline Fee Credit

Amex Platinum Fee

The Airline Fee Credit is a feature that is only found on the Platinum and Centurion cards (personal as well as business) from American Express. This great feature gives holders of those cards $200 per calendar year to use towards airline incidentals. The airlines that you can use your reimbursement towards include any of the US airlines and you can only select one per year. If you previously selected an airline last year and did not select one this year before January 31st, then your choice was automatically enrolled as the airline you had selected for last year. The term “incidentals” include:

  • Baggage fees
  • Phone fees
  • Reservation fees
  • Close-in booking fees
  • Pet fees
  • Change fees
  • Airline lounge passes and memberships
  • In-flight purchases (such as food and beverages)
  • Seat selection fees (such as selecting premium economy seats or simply choosing seats if the airline charges for that)

According to the terms and conditions, charges that are NOT covered are:

  • Airline tickets
  • Upgrades
  • Mileage points purchases
  • Mileage points transfer fees
  • Gift cards
  • Duty free purchases
  • Award tickets
  • In-flight internet
  • Fees incurred by airline alliance partners

BUT, many people (myself included) have seen gift cards be reimbursed. I have had them reimbursed by United (as one $200 purchase) and American Airlines (in $50 increments). In addition, I have also had my award taxes (Delta) reimbursed. Another fee that I had reimbursed was a American Airlines Platinum status challenge ($200). It all depends on how the airline codes the purchases.

Yet another fee that I had reimbursed was airline transfer fees (transferring Delta miles from one account to another). If it is coded as tickets or travel, then it will not count. Since the things I mentioned generally are not coded that way, they are allowed by the system. There have even been reports of people getting tickets under $100 reimbursed automatically!

Time’s Running Out!

Amex Platinum Fee

If you have an American Express Platinum card (business or personal) or an American Express Centurion card (business or personal), you need to use up the $200 in incidental fees by December 31st or you will lose it! If you have forgotten which airline you had selected as your airline choice for 2013, you can go to this American Express link, sign-in, and it will show you the airline you had selected. After that, if you do not have any more travel planned for the year, try something like purchasing a small denomination gift card with your airline to see if it is reimbursed. If it is, now you have an idea of what you can do! Or use the fee credit towards purchasing a lounge membership (historically, airlines will offer a special deal for membership purchased in December). Whatever you do, do not let it run out!


Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.